President’s Message – December 2017
As 2017 draws to a close and we prepare to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, it is appropriate to pause and reflect on the passage of the year. Attached is our Year In Review report entitled, “Translate Vision into Reality” which features the major achievements of the Association and Foundation. We are both proud and pleased to have once again, with your active input and involvement, been able to achieve these many accomplishments.
Our main focus this past year was on making PROCESS EXPO 2017, which continues to be the largest U.S. tradeshows focused strictly on food and beverage processing and packaging, the event that all of us want it to be. During this year a tremendous amount of time, effort, and resources were concentrated on transitioning PROCESS EXPO into a newer and much more customer-focused tradeshow. Included in the document you will find details on the specific changes and improvements that were initiated to make the show more relevant and successful. All of these upgrades were focused on attracting new and more attendees, while also enhancing their experience at PROCESS EXPO.
In addition to the show highlights which are listed in the report, I want to specifically update you on several key initiatives and activities that took place this past year:
- The 2017 Annual Conference in Carlsbad, CA was by all accounts an overwhelming success. The Conference attracted over 180 attendees across all segments of the food processing and packaging industry who gathered for invaluable networking and insightful sessions tailored to each of FPSA’s five Councils, as well as two outstanding keynote speakers, and membership focus groups which provided extremely valuable contributions for improving our Association.
- The FPSA Foundation awarded fifteen Career Development Scholarships in the amount of $5,000 to very worthy recipients from member companies for their pursuit of higher education. Additionally, the MISA Foundation awarded seven $10,000 scholarships to deserving meat science students across the country.
- In conjunction with our show we again provided assistance to those in need by holding our third biennial DEFEAT HUNGER campaign. This year’s donations equaled 400,000 meals, bringing our total contributions to date to just under 1 million meals in helping to fight hunger in Cook County.
- At our Chairman’s Dinner, we made a substantial contribution to Chicago’s Community Kitchen Program which assists students in becoming trained food technicians.
- The Foundation once again donated to the “Bake for Life” program, an organization that provides opportunities to handicapped individuals in Africa by building bakeries and training them to become bakers.
- FPSA’s new “Women’s Council” was launched with much fanfare at PROCESS EXPO with the goal of empowering and achieving both professional and personal growth in the food and beverage industries.
- To assist members in your business operations we commissioned and distributed three new free global trend studies which provide members with valuable equipment sales/forecasting information and data.
- We also added two new affinity programs to both help reduce operational costs for your company and to provide more substantive and critical economic information to our membership.
- The Association’s “Young Professionals Group” continued its expansion and increased the involvement of the next generation as active members of our industry.
You can see it has been a busy year for your Association, and none of this would have been possible without the leadership and commitment of your outstanding FPSA Board of Directors and the Foundation Board of Directors whose thoughtfulness and dedication helped guide FPSA to another successful year.
In closing, I would like to wish you and your employees a very happy and healthy holiday season, and as always thank you for your commitment to your industry and your Association.